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[ven-tril-uh-kwiz-uh m] /vɛnˈtrɪl əˌkwɪz əm/
the art or practice of speaking, with little or no lip movement, in such a manner that the voice does not appear to come from the speaker but from another source, as from a wooden dummy.
Also called ventriloquy
[ven-tril-uh-kwee] /vɛnˈtrɪl ə kwi/ (Show IPA)
Origin of ventriloquism
1790-1800; ventriloqu(y) (< Medieval Latin ventriloquium, equivalent to Late Latin ventriloqu(us) a ventriloquist (ventri- ventri- + -loquus, derivative of loquī to speak) + -ium -ium) + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ventriloquism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And, after all, the ventriloquism was really all you wanted me for, eh?

    Elsie's Winter Trip Martha Finley
  • "That is a fine piece of ventriloquism, any way you look at it," said he.

    The Shadow World Hamlin Garland
  • If it were made in one cell, it possessed a wonderful power of ventriloquism.

    Woman in Prison Caroline H. Woods
  • ventriloquism derives its name from an error of the ancients.

  • Answer that this is almost lowering music to the level of ventriloquism, and they will declare you a profane, unworthy to live.

  • This is a kind of ventriloquism that often gives cause for annoyance and enmity.

    Walter Pieterse Multatuli
  • The most familiar and striking illustration of the difficulty experienced in determining the direction of sound, is ventriloquism.

    Fiends, Ghosts, and Sprites John Nettin Radcliffe
  • He could not help it; base as it seemed, he suspected her of ventriloquism.

  • He executed all he knew, and then treated them to some ventriloquism, which was not good, but delighted them nevertheless.

British Dictionary definitions for ventriloquism


the art of producing vocal sounds that appear to come from another source
Derived Forms
ventriloquial (ˌvɛntrɪˈləʊkwɪəl), ventriloqual (vɛnˈtrɪləkwəl) adjective
ventriloquially, adverb
ventriloquist, noun
ventriloquistic, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin venter belly + loquī to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ventriloquism

1773, from ventriloquy + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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